Yes, the dredded stick shock! I know I like a good deal but sometime I don't go for the cheapest thing because you get what you pay for. Obviously there must be a reason another bagpiper would charge less or more than me, and we are talking more than a few dollars. I have played hundreds of events over the past 5 years performing full time, not counting the hundreds of events I played before hand for a few extra spending dollars.
-I pay about a 30% tax as a small business owner (no I don't do under the table, just too honest for that lie)
-1 chanter reed is $16-$20 and I have to have backups (with as much as I play I burn 1-2 a month)
-A set of drone reeeds are about $100
-My uniform is about $800 without the jacket or bagpipes
-General maintence every month
-website, cell phone, insurance, membership fees for booking sites
Let's not forget the hours of practice weekly and travel time. In a nut shell that is why I start at $160 for my services within a couplr miles from me and I know not everyone can afford it and I work with poeple best I can. Also a reason why I don't charge for fallen soldiers or first responders who gave their life in the line of duty, as the last thing that family needs to deal with is paying the piper. I don't mean to sound rude or anything just I wanted to explain the cost. It's not as simple as just 1 tune when it take 20 minutes to get dressed, 30 minutes to drive there, tune, wait, tune again, and play 45 minutes after I've arrived and then reverse.
So when it comes time to pay the piper I hope you understand why I charge what I do and that you'll see the value in my performance! I never take any event lightly and always do the best I can if it's a $200 gig or $2,000 gig, every time regardless of the situation, tempurature or issues that arise.
I look forward to serving you soon and Merry Chirstmas and Happy Hogmanay!